Peach Cook-Off registration open

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, May 29, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The annual Peach Cook-off, which marks the beginning of the Peach Festival season, is gearing up for another tasty event.

The only ingredient missing is local cooks and their favorite recipes.

Gay West of the Chilton County Extension Office said registration forms are now available at the office at 504 First Avenue in Clanton.

The deadline to register is June 20 by 4 p.m. Entry into the event is free.

Many past winners have been first-time entrants. West encouraged anyone with a recipe where peaches are the star to enter the cook-off.

Just like last year, there will be three categories: sweet, savory and canning.

West said having the different categories has opened the competition to more options and ensures judges were comparing peaches to peaches comparison when selecting a winner.

“There are so many people who may not bake, but they have things that are canned,” West said. “It gives them an outlet (to show their work).”

While using local fresh peaches is always encouraged and preferred, peaches used in the entry can also be frozen or homemade preserves.

Young cooks can get in on the action in the youth category, which is open to ages 9 to 18. Anyone older can enter the adult category.

Judges for the competition are kept a secret to keep it fair.

“We try to find people who are interested in cooking or eating, who are interested in trying a variety of food,” West said.

Each dish is judged on the quality of the peaches, appearance, taste and creativity.

The ultimate goal is to promote the Chilton County peach industry.

“We figure the more ways you can have people use peaches in a variety of dishes, they will be in more demand,” West said.

The Peach Cook-off will be held on June 23 at 10 a.m. at Senior Connection, 304 Park Plaza in Clanton.

Recipes will be included in a recipe book given to each attendee.

This year’s peach demonstration will be presented by Jason Lea of Neighborhood Grill.

Attendees also get to taste each of the dishes after the contest.